Convert Women Affairs to Family / Children Affairs Ministry-Group

Convert Women Affairs to Family / Children Affairs Ministry-Group

… Appoint A Performer As Minister

…Says ministry of women affairs is unconstitutional

As millions of babies, infants and children of Nigeria join their counterparts all around the World to commemorate the year 2024 Children’s Day, a call has gone to the President of Nigeria, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to restructure the moribund and irrelevant ministry of women Affairs and rename it as ministry for Children and family affairs.

The Rights group said the restructuring is important so as to correct the illegality of the existence of that ministry because as it is, it is in breach of section 42(1) of the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria, of 1999, as amended.

Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA): a prominent not-for-profit and civil Rights Advocacy group has also tasked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to name a tested, trusted and resourceful Women’s and Child rights activist as the Minister of the new Children and family affairs ministry just as the Rights group argued that the ministry of women affairs as currently constituted is not suitable for the contemporary times and is not adequately equipped with a workforce and a leader who could power the implementation of programmes, initiatives and projects to advance child and family rights in Nigeria in line with the best global practices.

HURIWA stated that just as it is obtainable in a functional democracy like in England, the minister’s responsibilities should include: * child protection (including protection from child sexual exploitation and safeguarding), local authority children’s social care and family law;

*Children in care, care leavers and adoption

childcare policy including delivery of the 30 hours free childcare offer, inspection and regulation;

The Rights group proposed that other functions of the new ministry should include the promotion of early years policy including inspection, regulation and literacy and numeracy; *funding for publicly funded schools in the federal Republic of Nigeria to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities (pupil premium and pupil premium plus);

*Funding and policy on free school meals

special educational needs and disabilities (SEND);

*school sports and healthy pupils

cadets and military ethos in the education system; and *Improving social mobility in the 12 opportunity areas in line with the United Nations Declaration on the rights of children.

In a media statement by the National Coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA), Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko,  the Rights group stated that Nigerian children are treated with the short-end of the stick institutionally and in the areas of policy frameworks,  policy implementation and even in the area of law enforcement, the children of Nigeria are neglected and abandoned to wallow in existential misery,  absolute poverty and wanton abuses of the fundamental human rights.

  HURIWA argues that children of Nigeria are subjected to the indignities of being used for street begging and trading and are serially sexually violated.

HURIWA stated that because the government isn’t committed to promoting and protecting the rights of the children as specified in the Child Rights Act of 2003, the country is dotted with babies’ factories and the nation is now known notorious as the place with the highest mortality rates, out-of-school phenomena globally.

The Rights group said if the moribund ministry of Women’s affairs is reorganised, restructured and rejigged and rebaptised as the federal ministry for women/family affairs, then these existential dangers that are contemporary encumbrances and inhibition to the proper growth and advancement of our children would be minimised or eliminated altogether.

The Rights group argued further that the existence of the Federal Ministry of women affairs is in violation of section 42(1) of the 1999 constitution, as amended, which bans discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or status in policy implementation.

HURIWA said naming a federal or state ministry as exclusively that of women, offends section 42 of the constitution because it presupposes that women gender should be treated specially whereas the ministry for Children and family affairs encompasses policies to protect everyone in Nigeria irrespective of gender.

HURIWA recalled that Section 42(1) of the Nigerian Constitution (1999) provides as follows: “42. (1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:

(a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religious or political opinions are not made subject; or

(b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.”

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